Christmas is the holiday where everyone becomes an artist, whether they like it or not. Ignore how hemmed in you may be by the repetitive palette of greens, reds and snowy whites, and ignore how rubbish you are at going at a gift with tattered wrapping paper and too much sellotape to know what to do with. The fact that you’re even attempting to make a prezzie look like one is effort enough.
In truth, the gift-wrapping is usually the final artistic flourish to a month of tiring (but fun) work. Everyone knows the countdown to Christmas begins as soon as Halloween ends, and so the race is on to spruce up your house with the best neon decorations your wallet can allow. When I was little, my parents would drive me, my brother and a couple of friends around our neighbourhood and we’d marvel at all the Christmas lights on display. For a few weeks only, the holiday has the power to turn villages into art galleries, where anyone can show off their talent (or lack thereof). Sometimes less is more: I’d much rather gaze at a minimalist light rig that mimics snowfall than an over-ambitious mass of lurid, eye-burning razzle-dazzle where an inflatable Rudolph pressed against a seizure-inducing snowflake is a triple-dollar-digit fire hazard.
Even when you’d rather not flash up the exterior of your house, there’s no escaping the decoration. With Christmas, decoration is half the point – so haul out the plastic fir tree, wrap it in lights (or ribbons if you want to be eco-friendly), and dot it with enough baubles to make it look like it has flamboyant chicken pox. Sure, it’s not so much of an art gallery when inside your own home, but you can bet on your extended family judging your efforts as they pop over for Christmas – even if they insist the lopsided angel on top is an ‘artistic flourish’ and ‘it’s very abstract, Gus’. Not that I’m speaking from experience.
That’s not to mention those across the nation who are brainstorming how to present their golden turkey, nor the vegans presenting their… nut roast, I guess? Props to anyone who makes that look good. And if wrapping presents isn’t your forte, then don’t fret – your artistic endeavour can be put to use choosing the prettiest (and most economically-friendly) christmas card to make up for it.
So Merry Christmas! Whether you’re the next Picasso or just taking the… Picasso, the holiday forces you to whip out your decorative easel and use your eye for festive Feng shui. Try not to burn down the house while you’re at it.